Don't settle for ordinary quarterly reports.

I take a look at three companies that beat market expectations every week, since I believe that it's the biggest factor in a stock beating the market. Leaving Wall Street's pros with stunned expressions can be a good thing. It usually means that the companies have more in the tank than analysts figured. Capital appreciation typically follows.

Let's take a look at a few companies that humbled the prognosticators over the past few trading days.

We can start with Nike (NYSE: NKE). The sultan of swoosh posted a quarterly profit of $1.24 a share, ahead of both the $1.06 a share it earned a year earlier and the $1.16 a share analysts were expecting. The soft economy isn't getting between active consumers and their Air Jordans.

Nike bounced back from a rare miss on the bottom line three months ago, but the companies behind premium athletic apparel haven't had a problem connecting with consumers lately. Under Armour (NYSE: UA) and lululemon athletica (Nasdaq: LULU) have consistently landed ahead of Wall Street's guesstimates for several quarters now.

American Greetings (NYSE: AM) also earned a "Congratulations" card after its latest quarter. The greeting card giant's net income landed at $0.81 a share. The pros were targeting earnings of $0.78 a share. Greeting cards may not seem like a growth business, but international growth and an uptick in licensing helped offset the flattish nature of its stateside card business.

Finally, we have MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE: MSM). Being a direct marketer of metal works and other industrial gear isn't without its challenges in an iffy economy, but MSC's holding up just fine. Earnings of $0.97 a share narrowly bested the $0.94 a share Mr. Market was banking on. Shareholders should be used to this by now, since MSC has bested bottom-line estimates for 14 consecutive quarters.

It's important to keep watching the companies that surpass expectations. Over time, it will be a lucrative experience for investors as the market rewards the overachievers. That's the kind of surprise that we look for in the Rule Breakers newsletter service. Want in? Check out a 30-day trial subscription.

Either way, come back next Monday to learn about more stocks that blew the market away.

The Motley Fool owns shares of lululemon athletica and Under Armour. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nike, lululemon athletica, MSC Industrial Direct, and Under Armour, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Nike. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of toppers. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this column. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.